I got this e-mail from a Wellington Heights resident this morning:
Really… you really believe what the cops tell you, have you spent anytime in this neighborhood… the cops constantly ignore this problem and will do nothing about it because they are scared of the residents in the neighborhood… who’s the boss here… the thugs or the police? That neighborhood should be on lockdown every night with the crime that goes on down there… but time and time again it’s “nobody talks to us”… we’ll there are ways around that if you actually want to solve this problem but I guess we’re too busy causing accidents on I-380 doing speedtraps… you do realize they were running one last week which caused the accident that the newsroom sent a text message out about… the drugs are so rampant and out of control and the cops consistently ignore it and call it a landlord-tenant dispute. Beatings, prostitution, drugs, sexual assault, theft, vandilism and now murder again… please tell me this is the first you’ve heard about this because everyone else just says how horrible that is and then looks away and asks about the Hawks… the cops are 0 for 2 on murders so far this year, you would think in a city this size they could apply some pressure somewhere… thought this new police chief was a go getter… anyways please do not disseminate this info as our families lives are in danger in the neighborhood and nobody will help us either:(
I hear this alarmist version of what’s going on in the neighborhood, and then I think of my own experience, and the experience of others I know who live in here. I feel like there’s a disconnect — I have not once felt my life was in danger there, even walking at night. I even live a block from where Aubrey Young was shot to death shortly after the flood. I feel like I DO take a stand against drugs and violence. I won’t tolerate being intimidated by criminal activity. If I don’t like what’s going on, I will get involved.
Here’s a theory: Do you think some people view Wellington Heights as more dangerous simply because the population of black people and other minorities there is 5 times higher than the rest of the city? That racism is part of the problem here?
I think Terry Bilsland, Wellington Heights Neighborhood Association president, is right when he says, “95 percent of the residents here go to work in the morning and come home to mow their lawns at night. 5 percent of the people cause all the problems.” And, I can assure you, those people come in all colors.